Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Apartment Building

Our apartment building was in the Cass Corridor. Only three blocks away was the Masonic Temple which hosted plays among other events. Next door was the Employment Office. Across the street was a hotel of ill-repute. At the other end of the street was Woodward Avenue which is one of the main thoroughfares of the city.

My husband and I lived on the third floor... no elevator. We had a living room/dining room, bedroom, and bathroom. It was not a bad place to live even though the neighborhood was bad.

My son who was a baby slept in a dresser drawer atop the dresser. That way he was close when he woke up hungry and I was still in bed.

This was where my parents stayed with us when they first arrived. Of course it was crowded.  Besides my husband, baby, and me there were my parents and six brothers and sisters.

My parents rented an apartment on the first floor. It was much larger. So my family moved there. They enrolled the children in school. Daddy looked for work.

In less than a week my father was employed. The kids were in school. It seemed that things were working out well... for the most part.

The apartment directly below my parents was occupied by a strange man. Apparently he had been a merchant seaman at one time. He was loud and rude. One of his ears had been pierced.  During a fight his earring was ripped out leaving his earlobe split and separated.

He had a habit of imagining enemies outside his window. He would scream and curse at them. Then he would throw firecrackers and M-80's at them. This usually happened after he had been drinking.

On his good days he would place his radio in the window and turn it up as high as it would go.

My parents asked him nicely if he could stop with the fireworks and not play the radio quite so loud. He was congenial and agreed to be quieter.

The noise did not stop although he only played the radio loud when he knew my father was at work.

Finally Mom had all she could stand. She had a pan of water boiling on the stove. She took it and leaned out the window. She threw the whole pan of hot water at the radio. BULLSEYE! The radio sputtered and crackled and died. When he got a new radio he kept the sound down.

Next door to our apartment lived a man with his daughter and son. The daughter and my sister became close friends. Over the years they grew apart. However the girl married my husband's younger brother. They now have seven children and a whole bunch of grandchildren.

More next time.


  1. It sounds like there were interesting times in that apartment building.

  2. LOL your mother sounds like she was a good shot with water. Obviously it had some effect. You have such a big family and I wonder how I would have felt with a multitude of relations. Being the very last in my own line seems quite odd.

  3. Replies
    1. That is one of the reasons I say I had a great childhood. I learned to appreciate the ridiculous.

  4. bad neighborhood is so painful specially when they know how they can play with nerves of other men after knowing their weakness
    your mom did exactly what my grandma would have done in same situation lol as she was outspoken and daring lady
    i feel happy as you helped your parents in many ways which shows how loving daughter you are

    1. My parents helped my little family. Of course I would help them. My husband and I were very close to both sets of parents. After we divorced my husband often visited my mother and she was genuinely happy to have him. I visited his parents too. I consider myself lucky to have two wonderful families.

  5. That was some way to get the neighbor to finally get the message to lower the radio volumn, Emma, and your mother had a good aim as well.

    1. Whatever works. They had already tried the direct and polite route.

  6. The neighbor from hell! I admire your mother for dealing with the situation.